The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, says distant water fishing nations operating in the Pacific need to confront their entrenched interests.
Mr McCully was speaking at the Our Oceans Conference in Washington DC.
He says the Pacific stocks of tuna are increasingly under pressure as tuna stocks elsewhere become harder to access.
Mr McCully says in 2013 up to 5 billion US dollars worth of tuna was harvested in Pacific waters but less than 10 per cent of that came back to the Pacific nations.
The Foreign Minister says some of the wealthiest countries on the planet are profiting at the expense of some of the poorest.
He says Pacific countries need to strengthen fisheries management regimes, but the distant water fishing nations need to confront the entrenched interests that allow subsidies that promote overcapacity, overfishing and illegal and unreported fishing.